‘Key Feminist Concerns regarding core labour standards, decent work and corporate social responsibility’, Anja K. Franck, WIDE June 2008

‘Labor standards’ are established by the International Labour Organization conventions and implemented by national governments. A limited number of labor standards have been estalished as the ‘Core Labor Standards’ (CLS) that apply to all ILO members. A ‘social clause’ refers to the inclusion of labor issues in trade agreements. ‘Voluntary measures’ refer to voluntary corporate social responsability measures for private corporations. The opposition to including compulsory labor standards within the multilateral framework has made it increasingly popular to include them in bilateral and regional free trade negotiations. The EU has set out to include it as a part of the sustainable development section in its ongoing and future free trade agreements.

This paper aims to discuss the gendered nature of these measures, to highlight the implications for women workers in developing countries. The paper is mainly a study of the available literature within academia as well as relevant official documents and material from non-governmental organizations. To download: here.